Day 23 – Manti-La Sal Nat Forest to Willow Springs Rd

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 23:

Total km driven to date: 4922km

Total km walked to date: 191.10km

Manti-La Sal Nat Forest, UT – Willow Springs Rd, UT

180km drive

11.27km on foot

                I started today by swinging down in Moab for a look around and to use the WiFi to upload my latest posting. Moab is an awesome little town, in many ways feels like somewhere from Baja Mexico. Tons of people around and tons of business’s catering to outdoor activities like rock climbing, river rafting, mountain biking and of course offroading. It seems like every second company is for one of those listed, with built jeeps all over the roads and SXS and quad rentals galore. I grabbed some gas ($2.95/Gal, about 30 cents more than in CO) and put some air in my new bike tire, I am back on 2 wheels, if I want to bike in the heat that is. I headed up to Arches National Park, also bought myself an Annual National Park pass (wish I would have known about it when I paid to get into Yellowstone). It was $80 (thanks for the awesome birthday gift Dad, thats what I put that money towards!) but can now get into as many Nat. Parks as I want for the next 12 months (for instance Yellowstone was $30, Arches was $10, Josuha Tree when I was there in Jan was $15). It will pay off since I have quite a few more parks planned on my journey and seems like you have to pay to get into every one of them.

                Arches is a must see, right out of the parking lot the road winds up a huge red slickrock cliff until you are on the plateau with Moab far below. There was a lot of visitors and lines of cars in and out of the park, but no real waiting or being slow due to people. There is multiple pullouts and parking lots for various sights and most of them are breathtaking. Yes there is the famous Arches throughout the park but there is also some very cool cliffs and rock formations everywhere. Of course I took a ton of pictures so you can see for yourself. We wound our way through the park, its almost 50km from start to the turn around at Devils Garden. Up until that point I just did sightseeing by car, stopping and taking pictures out of the window. At the Devils Garden you have to hike if you want to see anything, so I made sure Ax was doing ok and had a bowl of water and I headed out for an hour and a half to get to see the Arches first hand. I highly recommend the hike, but make sure to bring lots of water, it was about 38* today and of course once again I was hiking at the hottest time of day. The Landscape Arch was amazing, so thin and long it is crazy that it is holding itself up. A little further down the trail you come to the Partition Arch, which is very cool since it is looking out over a huge portion of the park. Also close by is the Navajo Arch which doesn’t have a huge vista like the Partition Arch but leads into a long box canyon that was nice and shady and cool. At that point I decided to head back to the truck since my Co-Pilot would be getting hot in the truck.


          After a quick lunch we headed out of the park and back towards Moab to fill the water tank on my camper and so Ax could have a swim in the Colorado River. I think something nibbled at his foot because he kept trying to look down in the muddy water and then scrambled out, it was pretty funny. Now I have found myself a spot and set up off of Willow Springs Rd. Which is off Hwy 191 close to the entrance to Canyonlands National Park which is tomorrows destination. I am planning on setting a 5am alarm and heading out that way at 6am to try to get some sightseeing in before it gets too hot. AC is working great in the truck (Ax didnt want to get out when I found this camp spot) but no AC in the camper means it is now 7:30pm and it is still 37*C, not too comfy, the sun will go down in about an hour and then I will make dinner.

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